Around The Web: The Charles Dilemma, What Ego?, Dallas Play Calling

With Jamaal Charles’ fumbling problems…  well, still a problem, Adam Teicher looks at where the young running back fits in the Chiefs plans going forward.

As Haley and general manager Scott Pioli continue what now seems like an eternal Chiefs rebuilding program, they have precious few younger offensive players who can help with the process.   Dwayne Bowe, perhaps. Matt Cassel and Branden Albert, they hope.JamaalCharlesFumbleGiants

Charles could figure into their plans — if not as a regular, then as a spot player capable of causing matchup problems for the opposing defense because of his speed.  Haley appears to like Charles as a player, which certainly helps his cause.  Haley certainly doesn’t want to give up on Charles too quickly and then watch him become a productive player for an opposing team.

But Charles’ time to prove his worth to the Chiefs could be running out.  Kolby Smith is close to finishing his rehabilitation from last year’s knee surgery and is eligible to be activated from the injured list later this month.

For his part, Charles indicated he is ready for whatever punishment Haley dishes out for the fumble against New York.

“Whatever they do to me, they do to me.  I’ll still go out there and give it my all.  It was my fault (Sunday) fumbling the ball like that…  I’m trying to get things going, and I wasn’t thinking about the ball.  It wasn’t a big hit.  The ball just came out.”

Since coming to the Chiefs, Haley has emphasized that he wants players he can count on every down, and not necessarily talented players whose performance goes up and down.  He’s been willing to bend that policy in the case of Charles.

“He doesn’t have to say anything about that.  Every coach wants consistent players.  I agree with him.  If I didn’t practice that good or play that good, don’t put me in that week.  If you think Savage practices better than me, play Sav.  I don’t have anything against Sav.  He’s a good player.”

Good to see Charles not only take responsibility for his mistake but realize any move Haley makes this week is performance based.

You won’t find a bigger fan of Charles.  During the offseason I was ready to release Larry Johnson and hand the starting job over to the second year running back from Texas.  And then after he was inactive earlier this season I almost disowned Todd Haley.  But after his demoralizing fumble against the Giants, I can’t argue if the coaching staff has Charles in street clothes when the Cowboys come to town.

After Sunday’s loss to the Giants, Larry Johnson was asked about the difference between the two teams and kept giving “Ego” as the answer without explaining.  In his Monday press conference, Todd Haley said his ego isn’t a factor and wasn’t sure if LJ’s words were directed at him, according to Bob Gretz.

“You’ll have to ask him.  I wasn’t aware of it until now.”

What Haley needs, what the Chiefs need as a team, what the Chiefs Nation needs is something good to happen with this team.  Winning is the only salve that works for any athlete or team.

“I know from past history, if we can get something positive to happen and get a little confidence, and go forward that way, that’s our only chance for success,” Haley said.  “If we think about what happened in the past and get caught up in it, and compare it to other times it won’t work.”

Everything Haley said in his presser yesterday about starting fresh is nice and all, but there’s no way for player, media or fans to ignore the elephant in the room.  The Kansas City Chiefs need to win a game and until they do, the grumbling about how Scott Pioli and Todd Haley are running things is going to get louder.  I don’t think it should, but that’s just the way things go in this business.

There have been some — maybe Larry Johnson among them? — that have questioned the Chiefs play calling and their next opponent are dealing with the same questions after losing to the Denver Broncos.  But don’t tell that to head coach Wade Phillips.

“I’m OK with whatever he (OC Jason Garrett) called, yes,” Phillips said.

The Cowboys had no timeouts left when they faced first-and-goal from the 8-yard line with 27 seconds to play.

Instead of throwing into the end zone, quarterback Tony Romo completed a 6-yard pass to Patrick Crayton.  That forced Romo to spike the football to stop the clock on second down, essentially wasting one of the team’s four chances to tie the score.

On third and fourth downs, Garrett called the same play – a slant route to fourth receiver Sam Hurd, who was matched against eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey.  Both passes were incomplete.

No. 2 tight end Martellus Bennett wasn’t even on the field during the Cowboys’ final two passes into the end zone and Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, who has almost twice as many receptions as any other Cowboy, stayed in to help block.

“They blitzed everybody, and you’ve got to pick up with somebody or they get to the quarterback before he can throw the football,” Phillips said.  “They brought eight guys, so we had to block.”

I actually though Bailey could have been called for pass interference on the final play.  Tough call to get on the road at the end of the game, but Bailey’s arm sure looked like it was hooking the back of Hurd before the ball got there.  Hurd isn’t the star of the offense, but he made a great catch and run to put Dallas in a position to score.  Either way, if the Cowboys keep Witten in to block, things will go a lot smoother for the Chiefs on Sunday.

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